Wanted: The Perfect Pet by Fiona Roberton
|Wanted: The Perfect Pet by Fiona Roberton|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: A wonderful, funny story with bold, effective artwork. Never mind my daughter, this is one that I want to read again and again!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: July 2011|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
What Henry wants most in the world, more than chips, more than a trip to the moon, is a dog. He has 27 different sorts of frogs but they, he claims, are boring. What he really, really wants is a dog, and so he decides to advertise to try and find one.
Whilst Henry is waiting we meet duck. He doesn't have a name, and he lives all alone, far away, and he is very lonely. He opens the paper one day and he sees Henry's advert. What the duck wants more than anything is a friend, so he decides to dress up as a dog and he sets off to meet Henry!
I really like this story, and I like it more each time I read it. It's incredibly simple, with very simple text and quite bold, bare illustrations, and yet the pictures and words combine to create an emotional story about the boy and the duck's search for a friend perfectly.
I laughed out loud seeing the duck in his disguise as a dog. He is, of course, doomed to failure since the sock ears and fake nose fall off as soon as he tries to play chase with Henry. But then Henry brings the sad little duck inside and gives him a bath and a cup of tea. He looks up in his book about ducks and discovers a long list of 'Duck Skills' before declaring that although he isn't a dog he might still be the perfect pet for him. I felt quite moved at the end seeing the picture of the boy asleep in bed and the duck spread out across his feet at the end of the bed.
The illustrations are fabulous. They're mostly black and white with occasionally touches of colour. The ones of the boy make me smile but it is the ones of duck that are my favourite. There's one in particular of duck playing ping pong by himself as he stands by the table watching the ball plink plonk over the net and onto the floor, giving a little sigh as it does so that never fails to make me smile!
I like the different sizes of illustration too, some small and fitting with each line of text, and others filling the whole page. There's lots to look over, all the individually named frogs; the other advertisements in the newspaper next to Henry's ad. The story is easy to follow and perfect for sharing with children perhaps in the 4 to 8 year old age range although I have to say that I have sat down to read it by myself several times and have a little chuckle each time! A gentle, funny, endearing story that's definitely recommended.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: Claude in the City by Alex T Smith
You can read more book reviews or buy Wanted: The Perfect Pet by Fiona Roberton at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Wanted: The Perfect Pet by Fiona Roberton at Amazon.com.
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